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Play audio Tour de France – Stage 10 from BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
The gap from the peloton to the six-man breakaway has held at around two minutes and 35 seconds.
Tony Martin is up doing some hard graft on the front of the main bunch.
Is the long-term success of this break looking doomed already?
Right the first climb of the day is up the Cote de Mallet. Natnael Berhane (Cofidis) takes the honours and points on the category four climb.
In his BBC Sport Tour de France stage-by-stage guide, Mitchelton-Scott’s Adam Yates is backing Italy’s Elia Viviani to take the victory on stage 10.
Yates says: “It’s Monday, isn’t today a rest day!? No! I think the playbook for today will depend on what has happened so far. There will be some motivated for the breakaway, no question, but will there be sprint teams still looking for a win?
“It’s a lot nicer to get to the first rest day with some success, and if you don’t have a GC rider, that comes in the form of a stage win. So, for me, the break has little chance.”
Rider to watch: “Elia Viviani – regardless of whether the Italian has broken his Tour duck already, he will be super-motivated for this stage.”
Now I’m happy to report that Alessandro de Marchi is in better shape than I thought he was going to be after crashing early on stage nine.
Writing on his Instagram page the 33-year-old Italian said: “Here I am. Bruised but smiling.I want to thank the many people who showed me their affection with messages and calls for encouragement.
“As you can see my condition is good, I have some serious ailments but nothing that time cannot heal and repair. I will take this injury as a break.I will take advantage of this forced stop to do a reset, set a new zero point, a new starting point in my career as in my life.
“I have so many things still in the drawer.The first comes already in 2020, in August, and I’ll be ready!
“When life offers you lemons, make a lemonade.”
Michael Schar has made it over to the early breakaway so the quintet has become a sextet.
The peloton are coasting along about two minutes and 40 seconds back.
Giving we’re still in the initial skirmishes of stage 10, here’s a quick look at how the general classification currently stands:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 38hrs 37mins 36secs
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +23secs
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +53secs
4. George Bennett (NZ/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 10secs
5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos)+1mins 12secs
6. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +1mins 16secs
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 27secs
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +1mins 38secs
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana Pro Team) +1mins 42secs
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) +1mins 45secs
Some respite at the front of the main bunch now who are probably fairly happy to allow the five-man break some slack.
Michael Schar the most aggressive rider in stage 4 is the latest rider to strike out off the front.
The CCC man will have to bridge a gap of 40 seconds and counting.
The peloton has been well and truly strung out by those early accelerations.
Michael Matthews shadowed a move by Peter Sagan, before the Slovakian was brought back to heel.
Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) are on the attack.
That didn’t last long.
The main group respond immediately. There are a queue of riders getting ready to launch off the front though.
Here we go. Lilian Calmejane has attacked from the flag drop. Stage 10 ends on his home turf in Albi.
The 26-year-old Total Direct Energie rider is one of most robust riders in the peloton, which you may remember he proved a couple of years back on the way to winning stage eight at the Tour.
Struggling with leg cramps, the French rider held on though to record a superb solo breakaway victory at the finish at Station des Rousses.
The race is still in the neutralised zone. So nothing doing yet.
Just wondering which Lotto-Soudal rider is going to take out the breakaway today?
Tim Wellens, Thomas de Gendt and Tiesj Benoot have all been up spent a fair chunk of time up the road so far.
Daryl Impey wasn’t joking about raising a glass was he….
“That was special,” the South African wrote on his Instagram page.
“This whole team works so hard behind the scenes to make days like yesterday happen. Thank you Mitchelton-Scott.”
Copyright: Getty Images
On stage nine Daryl Impey became the the first South African to win an individual stage at the Tour since Robert Hunter’s triumph in Montpellier in 2007.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider was involved in a 15-man from pretty much the off on Sunday before powering past Tiesj Benoot in a sprint finish to the line.
“I have been in quite a few breakaways and to finally nail it is a dream come true,” Impey told ITV 4. “All the stars lined up.
“I kind of found a lucky move and didn’t have to do too much to get in there. I played it smart at the end and knew I had to reach Tiesj and was glad I got there.
“The last time a South African won a stage was in 2007 so it’s been a long time between drinks but it’s a magic memory.”
Here we go. The roll out is under way.
After the last two stages, could it be another day for the breakaway? Or will today which ends with relatively untaxing run into Albi be a day for the sprinters?
With this race you never know.
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of stage 10 of the Tour de France.
We’ve got four categorised climbs and an intermediate sprint on the agenda today as the race travels 217.5km from Saint-Flour to Albi.
This is the last stage before the riders get a much-deserved rest day. And by the end of today the there’ll have covered over 50% of this year’s race route.